DroneUp begins Walmart drone delivery service in Texas [Update]

DroneUp Walmart drone delivery

Nearly six months after they initially announced plans to launch new drone deliveries to an additional 4 million potential US households, Walmart and DroneUp this week initiated aerial services to eight cities in Texas – just in time for the run-up to Christmas.

Walmart revealed its decision in May to expand existing drone delivery operations run by DroneUp to 34 communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, allowing it to transport more than a million orders to customers’ homes each year. Six months later, the partners had finished preparing and testing the network, and put it into action at the same time many consumers begin their rush to ready year-end celebrations.

Read moreWalmart expands drone deliveries to 4 million potential households 

DroneUp will operate drone deliveries from 11 Walmart stores in the Texas cities of Garland, Murphy, Plano, Dallas, Richardson, Mesquite, Rowlett, and The Colony to households within a mile of participating outlets. Orders for some 10,000 eligible items of up to 10 pounds can be placed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on www.droneupdelivery.com for a flat rate of $3.99, with goods lowered by winch into front or backyards or driveways in about 30 minutes.

As in other areas, Walmart’s drone delivery service will be orchestrated by DroneUp’s network of over 10,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified pilots. The expansion of aerial transportation of its goods, meanwhile, is a reflection of Walmart’s commitment to increasing UAV operations as an option to ground options or in-store purchases – an intention that led it to take a direct ownership stake in DroneUp in 2021.

DroneUp CEO Tom Walker says the deepening relationship with Walmart is an indication of how important delivery drones will be in fueling retail activity in coming years, and a sign of confidence the world’s largest chain has in its UAV service provider.

“Our mission is to set the gold standard for drone delivery and, by partnering with Walmart, bring the incredible benefits that drones offer to local communities, organizations, and businesses,” said Walker. “Our approach is unique; we practice safety above all else and incorporate state-of-the-art technology. Our strong relationship with the FAA has also been critical to our success as we build an infrastructure that supports growth and great career programs for operators now and in the future.”

Read moreWalmart hitches future to drone deliveries via DroneUp investment 

The launch of drone deliveries in Texas isn’t the last aerial rollout Walmart and DroneUp have planned for 2022. A press release announcing the start of those flights Thursday noted similar services are set to begin “in five other states… by the end of the year, including: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Utah and Virginia.”

That, it said, will bring the total number of Walmart stores making drone deliveries to 34, covering 23 cities nationwide before the year ends.

December 18 Update

No sooner said than done: Just hours after Walmart began its new Texas drone deliveries, the retailer launched similar aerial services in Florida as promised.

This weekend, customers located within the one-mile delivery radius of five Tampa Bay area Walmart stores began receiving orders by drone if so requested. The outlets are located in Tampa, and suburban towns of New Port Richey, Valrico, Winter Haven, and Brandon.

Two Walmart stores in the Orlando area also added drone delivery options as part of the retailer’s Florida rollout.

More of Walmart’s 4,700 US stores stocking over 100,000 frequently bought goods will follow, virtually all of which are located within 10 miles of 90% of the US population, according to the retailer.

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